I visited Utsunomiya while I was in Japan in May, 2006. Utsunomiya is the capital and the most populous city of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. In 2003 the city had an estimated population of 448,363. The city was founded on 1 April 1896. It is also home of a Canon optical manufacturing plant, a Japan Tobacco plant, Honda automobile plants, and various other industrial concerns in the Kiyohara Industrial Park. In addition, one of the largest malls in the North Kanto region, Bell Mall is located near central Utsunomiya. Utsunomiya is most well known within Japan for gyoza dumplings. Utsunomiya is also well known for its abundance and quality of cocktail bars. (Wikipedia - September, 2006)
This old storage building looks like it is about to come down. Amazing that the owner is parking their car in it. Hope they have insurance.
A shop owner walking his dog? Notice the yellow lines and dots on the sidewalk? These are to assist the blind.
Exterior of an izakaya. That box is the entirety of the restaurant. There are about 10 stools along a U-shaped bar and the kitchen is in the back. That's it. Delicious.
A new developement in Utsunomiya shows hope for small businesses picking up the slack in the economy.Utsunomiya, Japan has suffered in the lengthy recession. At least half of the department stores have gone under. However, this seems to have left the door open for small businesses, which were stomped on by the department stores in the 90s. An interior of the yokochou.
This was built on a former parking lot. Everyone thought the developer was crazy to try and put so many businesses into such a small place. There are 24 restaurants on this narrow lot that spans an entire block.
This is the entrance to Utsunomiya's new Yatai-yokochou located in the old city center.
A typical tiny street or path in a Japanese neighborhood. Japanese fire trucks are small, but I'm not sure if they can fit here.